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How Not to Be Seen 

Conquistador coffee campaign; Repeating groove; Ramsey MacDonald striptease; Job hunter; International Chinese Communist Conspiracy; Crelm Toothpaste/Shrill petrol; Agatha Christie sketch (... See full summary »


Ian MacNaughton




Episode cast overview:
Graham Chapman ... Lady Partridge / Martin Curry / Julius Caesar / Madly Dressed Man / Second City Gent / Priest the Most Popular Religion Ltd
John Cleese ... Advertising Boss / Announcer / Mr. Glans / Gavin Millarrrrrrrrrr / Man with Enormous Ears / Old Gramophone / Fourth City Gent / Priest / Bruce Beer / Naughty Bishop / 'How Not to Be Seen' Narrator (voice)
Eric Idle ... S. Frog / John / Admiral Nelson / Third City Gent / Arthur Crackpot / John Lennon / Archbishop Arthur Nudge
Terry Jones ... Neville Shunt / Mr. Bee / Inspector Davis / Matthew Padget / Labienus / Toad / Man with Enormous Teeth / Fifth City Gent / Ali Byan / Ludovic Grayson (voice)
Michael Palin ... 'It's' Man / Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald / Tony / First City Gent / Mrs. Collins / Archbishop Gumby / Archbishop Ken Shabby / Bill / Presenter
Terry Gilliam ... Various
Carol Cleveland ... Jasmina / Interviewer


Conquistador coffee campaign; Repeating groove; Ramsey MacDonald striptease; Job hunter; International Chinese Communist Conspiracy; Crelm Toothpaste/Shrill petrol; Agatha Christie sketch (railway timetables); Mr Neville Shunte - railroad playwright; Gavin Millarrrrr writes; Film director/dentist Martin Curry (teeth); City gents vox pops; 'Crackpot Religions Ltd'; 'How not to be seen'; Crossing the Atlantic on a tricycle; Interview in filing cabinet; 'Yummy yummy'; Monty Python's Flying Circus again in thirty seconds. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

8 December 1970 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?


At the end of this episode, an announcer introduces a recap of the entire program, consisting of split-second repeats of the various sketches and cartoons (like fast forwarding on a DVD). However, after the Crackpot Religion cartoon, there are brief shots of two more cartoons (one involving a devil peeping out of the ground and three figures crucified to telephone poles behind him) that were not shown in the episode. (It is possible that these cartoons were cut before the show aired.) See more »


Gavin Millarrrrrrrrrr: Some people have made the mistake of seeing Shunt's work as a load of rubbish about railway timetables, but clever people like me who talk loudly in restaurants see this as a deliberate ambiguity, a plea for understanding in a mechanized world. The points are frozen, the beast is dead. What is the difference? What indeed is the point? The point is frozen, the beast is late out of Paddington. The point is taken. If La Fontaine's elk would spurn Tom Jones the engine must be our head, the dining ...
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Alternate Versions

There are two versions of this episode, a monochrome kine-scope and 16mm film copy, thought to have been produced for the US AFRTS (Armed Forces Radio & Televison Service), were located in 2003. Named 'Chinese Ad Men' and marked "Not to be broadcast under any circumstances", they include previously lost material: five seconds from the Conquistador Coffee sketch referencing leprosy and cancer, and 33 seconds involving Jesus and Satan from the Crackpot Religions animation, bridging into Public Service Film No 42/6. The prints have the 30 second Shrill Petrol card segment removed. Sections of the Gilliam animation could be glimpsed during the end credits of the surviving color VT print, and the omission had long puzzled fans. See more »


Edited from Some Girls Do (1969) See more »


The Stars and Stripes Forever
Composed by John Philip Sousa
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User Reviews

Confusion between Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones
17 November 2007 | by cameron-sinclair-1See all my reviews

Thought you ought to know that Neville Shunt, writer of the train timetable murder mystery, was played by Terry JONES not Terry Gilliam, as listed above. Besides that, I loved the episode, as I do all Monty Python (hence the 10 stars), but, of course, particularly the train timetable murder mystery. Although the murder mystery bit itself is not overly funny, the bit following it where the writer is shown at a typewriter, pretending its a train is hilarious. Also the bit after that, where John Clease, as a critic, discusses the meaning and whether there is deliberate ambiguity, etc., in a very round about way is very funny - anyone who has done some kind of literary analysis or studied poetry or anything at all will find Clease's performance here funny.

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